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What degree do you need to become an occupational therapist?

Jodi Brooks

in Higher Education

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Jeffrey Rodriguez on May 23, 2018

The following is written by and according to the Department of Labor and particular to the education and training required for a occupational therapist. . Occupational therapists are regulated in all 50 States. Individuals to pursue a career as an occupational therapist usually need to earn a post-baccalaureate degree from an accredited university in education or equivalent. . The education and training. A master's degree or higher in occupational therapy is the minimum requirement for entry into the field. In 2007, 124 master's degree programs offered entry-level education, 66 programs offered a combined bachelor's and master's degree, and 5 offered an entry-level doctorate. The majority of schools have full-time programs, although a growing number offering weekend or part-time programs as well. Courses in occupational therapy programs include the physical, biological, and behavioral sciences, as well as the application of occupational therapy theory and skills. The programs also require the completion of 6 months of supervised field work. . People considering this profession should take high school courses in biology, chemistry, physics, health, art and the social sciences. College admissions offices also look favorably on paid or volunteer experience in the health field. Relevant undergraduate majors include biology, psychology, sociology, anthropology, liberal arts, and anatomy. . Licensing. All States regulate the practice of occupational therapy. To obtain a license, applicants must graduate from an accredited educational program and pass a national certification exam. Those who pass the exam are awarded the title of "Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR)." Specific eligibility requirements for the license vary from state to state. . Other qualifications. Occupational therapists need patience and strong interpersonal skills to inspire trust and respect of their customers. Patience is necessary because many clients may not show rapid improvement. Ingenuity and imagination in adapting activities to individual needs are assets. Those who work in home health care services also must be able to adapt to a variety of settings. . Advancement. Occupational therapists are expected to continue their professional development through participation in continuing education courses and workshops. In fact, a number of States require continuing education as a condition for maintaining the license. . Therapists are increasingly taking on supervisory roles. Due to the rising costs of health care, insurance companies are beginning to encourage occupational therapist assistants and aides to take more responsibility for the clients. Occupational therapists can choose to advance in their careers by taking on administrative tasks and supervision of assistants and aides. . The occupational therapists also can advance by specializing in a clinical area and gaining expertise in treating a certain type of patient or ailment. The therapists have specialized in gerontology, mental health, pediatrics, and physical rehabilitation. In addition, some occupational therapists choose to teach accredited courses in occupational therapy educational programs. . For the source and more detailed information concerning your request, click on the related links section (u.s. Department of Labor) indicated directly below this answer section.


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